Thursday, June 19, 2014

INVISIBLE REALITY



INVISIBLE REALITY

      Jung writes, “What is real is that which has real effects.”  In our rigid three-dimensional conscious constructs, we tend to define reality as that which is concrete and tangible, excluding anything of a spiritual nature.  Yet, the spiritual has real effects.  Even a cursory self-reflection will confirm the validity of Jung’s statement.  The spiritual is real.
     When I was growing up, it was the custom in our small Catholic community to pray the rosary as part of a funeral wake.  The effect on my young self was extreme boredom mixed with wonderment that adults behaved this way.  However, in thinking about this ritual as an adult, I can see the real effects of rote recitation and meditation on the mysteries of the rosary—the joyful, the sorrowful, and the glorious.  What human life hasn’t been touched by joy, sorrow, and glory?  What resonances are set up in the depths of the souls of the living?  What evokes the sacredness of life like those intoned prayers, drawing mourners into an unconscious unity of spirit?  Who knows what the effects were on those people around me?  On me?  Surely it had at least as much impact as an invisible wind rustling through trees.
     The psychological impact of formal prayer is that it tends to align consciousness with semi-conscious, established patterns that have served humankind well for a very long time.  For a consciousness mired in some less-than-healthy unconscious pattern, prayer can be a way of getting  “unstuck.”  The mysteries of the rosary are built on New Testament stories which recount the life story of one of the most developed personalities in human history, someone fully individuated, i.e., who completely realized both the human and the spiritual dimensions of existence.  
     For another example of invisible effects, consider gazing on a full moon.  Even thinking about the image of a full moon right now conjures up emotion, memory, awe, and mystery.  I rarely look at a full moon without wondering about peoples over millennia who saw this same sight, who relied on it to mark the passage of time, to know when to move or to harvest crops; who began to associate it with the cycle of a woman’s life and the mysterious absence of the cycle with an impending birth, to predict the movements of the tides, even eventually to know when to celebrate the Paschal Mystery itself.   What knowledge the spirit of the moon has imparted to humanity over the ages!  What knowledge does the physical world hold, awaiting a consciousness sufficiently capacious to apprehend it?
     If you haven’t seen the movie, “Moonstruck,” I urge you to rent and watch it.  It will awaken some spiritual awareness without ever touching on anything religious or dogmatic.  I would argue that we are all a bit moonstruck and it would do us well to recognize and celebrate it.
     Whenever anything intangible and haunting is evoked in us, whether it be in seeing the flag, in hearing a moving poem, in playing and replaying a song in our minds, in being visited by the memory of a deceased loved one, or in a thousand other ways in which a current experience ties us back to an old memory trace, we experience the movement of an invisible spirit. 

     A favorite poem of mine is “elegy” by W.S. Merwyn:

who would i tell it to

That simple sentence, sans capitalization or punctuation, always evokes such depth of emotion in me that I know it brings me into solidarity with every other human being who has grieved in ways beyond language or explanation.  Why is it that the Gerard Manley Hopkins’ opening line, “Margaret, are you grieving over goldengrove unleaving,” pops into my mind frequently and at odd times?  I can only conclude that there is some unseen but very real force at work in my being.  It is a force of some power, and it is arresting.
     Of course, in our romance-besotted modern life, no one among us would deny the effects of love or its life-changing, life-enhancing power.  Yet, few of us would identify love as a spirit, but in the truest sense of the word, it is spiritual.  And in the sense that Jung defines “real,” it is real.  “What I did for Love” is more than a lovely song; it is a testament to the power of love.  
     Jung was interested in the psychology of the human person and in the ways reality, seen and unseen, can call forth richness of experience and wholeness of personality.  Whether we approach the spiritual through a formal religion or through a religious, reverent attitude toward the people and the world within and around us matters little.  What is important, from a psychological point of view, is that we not neglect all of experience.  
     To live in a reality that consists only of things, one that must be explained by cause and effect is to live in a carved-out, desiccated existence.  To live in a world of things is to see and understand people and ourselves only as objects to be manipulated and managed.  To live in a strict cause-and-effect universe is to miss perhaps the largest parts of existence, the parts that respond to mythic patterns, the forces that, rather than pushing us from the past, are pulling us into the future. 
     It is a basic tenet of Analytical (Jungian) Psychology that we as conscious moderns have a responsibility to understand the spiritual forces that move us as best we can, learn to cooperate with those that are benevolent, and resist those that are not.  External authority, while important for civil living, can also lead us very much in undesirable directions if it is not reconciled with the individual spirits that inhabit all of us.     
     A careful reflection about spiritual forces leads me to conclude that there are a myriad of invisible agencies that have very real effects and that are shaping our lives, our relationships, and our actions in unknown and sometimes undesirable ways.  What our individual and collective futures become is, in no small part, of our own choosing and attitude toward the real.



Friday, June 13, 2014

JUNGIAN STUDIES OFFERED BY THE CHICAGO JUNG INSTITUTE


For people interested in formal study of Jungian Psychology, the Jung Institute of Chicago offers an excellent program.  The program, meetings on weekends over a two-year period, has drawn participants from all parts of the U.S.  Feedback from graduates of the program has been universally positive.  The experience of downtown Chicago coupled with serious study of Jung is a refreshing change of pace for many.  Serious study of Jung is a fine way to tap into creative potentials.  The Chicago Program is truly re-creational in nature.

The Jungian Psychotherapy Program (JPP) and the Jungian Studies Program (JSP) are unique and dynamic two-year programs in Analytical Psychology offered by the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. The Jungian Psychotherapy Program (JPP) offers licensed mental health and social service professionals an opportunity to enrich and deepen their work through didactic and experiential learning in Analytical Psychotherapy. The Jungian Studies Program (JSP) shares core curriculum with the JPP and offers professionals in other fields an opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge of analytical psychology to enrich and deepen their creative work.

These programs meet concurrently one weekend a month (October - June). A new two-year cycle begins October 2014 and the deadline for applications to the 2014 - 2016 program has been extended to July 1, 2014.

The JPP accepts psychologists, social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, physicians, and nurses. The JSP accepts allied professionals such as spiritual directors, chaplains, alternative health care providers, educators and artists. JSP students and JPP students participate in all aspects of the program together except where confidential clinical material is discussed. At those times, participants are divided into separate small process groups. Continuing education credits are available for JPP students.

The Institute website has more detailed information:  www.jungchicago.org

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Comments about the May 30-31 Jung Society Program on the topic of shadow


On May 30-31, the St. Louis Jung Society featured a weekend program, "The Shadow: Constriction, Transformation and Individuation, and Active Imagination: Dialogues Between Self and Shadow," by Chicago Analyst Mary Dougherty (MFA, ATR, NCPsyA).

The program was a fine Society offering and was well attended.  Ms. Dougherty focussed on the psychological development of the four main characters in the film, "The Piano."  Her insights were profound, and the workshop exercises she offered to participants on Saturday were all oriented toward understanding shadow and working to make it more conscious.

The video and audio recordings of Ms. Dougherty's Friday lecture will soon be available at cgjungstl.org

Ms. Dougherty will be presenting for the Chicago Jung Institute in the Summer Intensive at the Institute.  For details go to jungchicago.org

The St. Louis Society will host James Hollis again in September.  Visit cgjungstl.org for more information or to register.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

PROGRAM THIS WEEKEND ON THE SHADOW



The Shadow: Constriction, Transformation and Individuation,
and Active Imagination: Dialogues Between Self and Shadow
Mary Dougherty, MFA, ATR, NCPsyA

Lecture - May 30, 2014 (Prerequisite: View “The Piano,” a film by Jane Campion)
Friday, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it!

Fee: Friends $15 / Others: $20 / Students: $10 / 2 CEUs

Workshop - May 31, 2014 (Prerequisite: View “The Piano,” a film by Jane Campion)
Saturday, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it!

Fee: Friends $40 / Others: $50 / Students: $25 / 4 CEUs

For additional information or to register, visit cgjungstl.org

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

David Brooks Column in Today's NYTIMES


Here is the link to David Brooks' second article about important books in his life.  It is an interesting read and cause for reflection:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/27/opinion/brooks-really-good-books-part-ii.html?hp&rref=opinion

C. G. Jung is my favorite author.  Two of his essays have been profoundly influential in my thinking and development.  One is his "Commentary on the Secret of the Golden Flower."  The other is his "Introduction to the I CHING."  Both have been pivotal (meaning they changed the direction) in my life.

Monday, April 28, 2014

C. G. JUNG SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS - WRITING CONTEST


Details about this year's writing contest are now available at www.cgjungstl.org  

The theme of this contest is "Altars of the Earth."  The contest is a lead-up to the Society's 2015 Conference which will have the same theme.  Final selections will be published in a book that will be available prior to the conference.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

C. G. JUNG SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS--UPCOMING PROGRAM, April 25-26, 2014




LUCK, FATE, AND HAZARD IN THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE


Lecture - April 25, 2014
Friday, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it!

Fee: Friends $15 / Others: $20 / Students: $10/ 2 CEUs

Workshop - April 26, 2014
Saturday, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it!

Fee: Friends $40 / Others: $50 / Students: $25/ 4 CEUs

This program will explore the dimensions of luck, fate and hazard in human experience. The work of Jung and the Jungian community will be used to elucidate these three dimensions, and an intensive consideration of the role of consciousness as a balancing dimension will also be provided. Friday’s lecture will cover the topics of luck, fate, hazard and consciousness broadly. Saturday’s workshop will involve a close reading of Jung’s ideas about these phenomena and how they relate to individuation. The workshop will involve both small and large group discussion, and participants will deepen their understanding of the importance of consciousness as an ally on the path of individuation.

Ken James, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Chicago. He is a member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts, serving as an instructor in the Analyst Training Program and the Clinical Training Program, as well as offering courses through C.G. Jung Institute in Chicago, Common Ground in Deerfield, and the C.G. Jung Center in Evanston. Ken
has taught internationally on Jungian topics.

To register, go to www.cgjungstl.org

Friday, April 11, 2014

WRITING CONTEST - C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis



Our local Jung Society is about to announce the third writing contest.  The theme this year is "Altars of the Earth," the same theme as the Jung in the Heartland Conference--2015.  For information about the first two contests (and Conferences on the same themes) or to purchase the books of the winning essays, go to the Society website at cgjungstl.org.  Updated information about the 2014 contest will be available soon on the website.  I will also post it here.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jung's AION

In our St. Louis Jung Society Study Group, we are reading Edward Edinger's Lectures on Jung's AION, one of Jung's most obscure and difficult works.  Edinger argues that Jung, after his serious health crisis, began writing in a very different style.  He no longer cared about making his ideas accessible.  Rather, he wrote in the way the material came to him, the way he understood it.

In THE RED BOOK Jung describes an encounter with a wisdom figure who counsels him to understand the nature of gold and to "be like gold."  Gold waits to be discovered, never changes its essential nature, remains true whatever the circumstances in which it finds itself.  Above all, gold is of the highest value and has been long sought by humankind.

There are nuggets of gold in AION.  Retrieving them takes much effort and patience, but the effort does pay off.  I come away from our study group meetings with the impression that not understanding much of our text well might actually be a good thing, for it parallels our experience of many things in our lives about which we only have hints and glimmers.  One of the lessons I am learning is that there are enough nuggets of pure gold in AION (and in my own life) to keep me digging in a reverential manner.

Friday, January 31, 2014

ADS THAT APPEAR HERE



I have no idea how ads make their way onto this blog.  However, after seeing one about Senator Ted Cruz (Republican Senator from Texas), I feel compelled to write something about my political beliefs.  First, I am a proud "tax and spend" liberal.  I find it obscene that a few people in this country and on this planet hoard riches while literally billions of people lack the basic necessities of life.  A terrible part of this imbalance is that far too few people find the imbalance just plain wrong.

The lesson of the "loaves and fishes" at one level is simple:  there is plenty for everyone IF some don't hoard.  Republicans in recent decades have aligned themselves and their party with the wealthiest among us.  Republicans have used "principles" to make their alliance with the wealthy a "principled" one.  There is another basic Christian message yet to be applied by this group of people.  Substitute principle for sabbath, and the lesson becomes simple enough that even those held to the Grover Norquist pledge of "No New Taxes, Ever!" can understand it.

Principles aligned with truth and compassion serve as a wheel that carries one into the world to live a creative and satisfying life.  Principles aligned with greed and power tie one to a spinning wheel of ups and downs.  One is dragged along by events that create winners and losers.  Staying on top becomes more and more difficult and requires greater and greater resources of power and money. The one thing absolutely unaffordable to these individuals is empathy.  These "principled" people seem not to realize they are going nowhere.  To win is to keep the wheel static; those on top remain on top; those on the bottom, cannot move.  The result:  A terribly static, sterile, lifeless situation.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis - Winter/Spring Newsletter



The latest newsletter from the Jung Society of St. Louis with detailed information about winter/spring 2014 programs is available now online at www.cgjungstl.org

I am facilitating a study group about Jung's work AION on Sunday afternoons.  Details are available on the website.  For additional information or if you have questions, please e-mail me at roseholt@aol.com   AION is one of Jung's most challenging works.  Entering into it and discussion with others about it promises to yield fruitful results.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

JUNG SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS - SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFERING


The local Jung Society has a large collection of video and audio recordings of past programs.  The quality of the recordings is superb.  Speakers include James Hollis, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Lionel Corbett, Ken James, Monika Wikman, Gary Sparks, Leah Friedman, Laurence Hillman, and myself.  The topics are wide-ranging, covering many facets of Jungian Psychology.

The gift of Jungian understanding is a unique one.  It is the gift of the possibility for self-creation, for the enlargement of consciousness, for enhancing one's personality, and for creating a more harmonious consciousness.  There are short "trailers" for many of the video recordings that give a flavor of the material presented.

The Jung Society Holiday Offering includes both reduced pricing and free shipping.

Go to www.cgjungstl.org for additional information or to order.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jung in the Hearland Conference - Healing Through the Numinous



There are a number of photographs taken during the recent Jung in the Heartland Conference, now posted on the St. Louis Jung Society website.  Go to www.cgjungstl.org and click on the tab "recent events" to view the photos.  During the group labyrinth walk, a blue orb appeared in the center of the labyrinth, visible only in the photos.  It is extremely interesting.  A similar blue orb appeared in photos from the 2011 Jung in the Heartland Conference.  Spirit is alive and well in these events!

Planning is underway for the 2014 writing contest and for the 2015 conference.  The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis will be announcing the theme for the two events.  If you have suggestions, please send them to the Society via the e-mail address on the Society website.  If you wish to purchase a collection of the 2010 and 2012 winning essays, you may do so on the website.

Events sponsored by the St. Louis Society, a non-profit organization, are underwritten by Friends of the Society and by donations.  Scholarships are available for Society events.  See the website for additional information.

I will be facilitating a Reading Group in the winter/spring of 2014.  Participants will read and discuss C. G. Jung's AION, one of his most intriguing and, yes, difficult works.  Detailed information will be available here and on the Society website.  If you have questions or would like additional information about the reading group, please e-mail me: roseholt@aol.com


PLANE GEOMETRY, SPUTNIK, AND I



PLANE GEOMETRY, SPUTNIK, AND I


In our development, we recapitulate 
the issue of our times.
Unknown

     In a recent writing group, the facilitator assigned the task of writing about the influence of broader collective trends on our individual development.  When she talked about the assignment, one word leapt to my mind—Sputnik. In thinking about this topic, however, I had to enlarge her instructions to include a significant personal influence that opened the door to a larger collective one.
First, the personal influence.  When I was an adolescent I was particularly susceptible to authority.  One person who embodied authority for me was my high school plane geometry teacher, Miss Story.  On the first day of class, Miss Story explained that plane geometry was a subject that would teach itself to you; all you had to do was wait for it to show you the way.  For me, an extremely near-sighted, introverted, and troubled teen, her words might as well have been written on stone tablets on Mount Sinai.  Plane geometry taught itself to me, and I excelled at it.
The next year the Soviets launched the first Sputnik satellite, an achievement that stunned the world.  Few could imagine how the United States had fallen so far behind in technology.  A rallying cry went up across the land:  Grab all the young people you can find who are good at science and math and train them.
My personal world and the larger world intersected at that time.  Never mind that my interests lay in literature.  Never mind that higher forms of math failed to teach themselves to me.   In fact, never mind ANYTHING else; the larger interests must be served.   It was decades before I learned--painfully and often at odds with collective values like money and position--that what is important is the direction and flow of my little life force, that only in them are larger interests truly served.
Events of the late 50’s and early 60’s contorted me into a misshapen young adult.  Influential figures, both in my little world of high school and in college delivered the same message:  It doesn’t matter what is important to you.  And lacking personal authority, I colluded with them.
In looking back on these events decades later, I can see that new, powerful currents were set in motion then that were at odds with long-standing cultural values.  Young girls were supposed to marry, achieve marital bliss, have children, and keep a good house.  How could I excel in math and science AND do all that too?  Oh, the confusion of it all, the utterly impossible demands.  Some how I muddled through, perhaps am even better off for having done so.
I can see clearly now that the current cultural message to young women is as stupidly unnatural and unlivable as it was 50 years ago.  Today’s demand on young women?  You can still do it all.
There is a lot to be said for growing old.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Healing Through the Numinous - Companion Essay to Jung in the Heartland Conference




HEALING THROUGH THE NUMINOUS


“The approach to the numinous is the real therapy,
and inasmuch as you attain to numinous experiences,
you are released from the curse of pathology.”   C.G. Jung

I have long been interested in Jung’s work, especially as it relates to healing the personality, my own and that of others.  We live in a culture in which “personality” is often equated with ego and the ego equated with personhood.  Jung amply demonstrated that there is potentially a good deal more to the personality than simply one’s ego and one’s ego self-image.  
For someone identified with the ego, that is, someone who believes he/she is the sum total of the ego’s understanding, alienation is a necessary condition.  You might ask, alienation from what?  Jung’s answer is alienation from the collective heritage of humankind, from the healing balm of unconscious processes and contents that seek to enliven and enrich the ego but cannot find a welcoming window in the ego structure.
The first step for the person isolated in the ego shell is to posit the existence of the unconscious and its healing factors.  [The enormous success of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement rests on this supposition. Interestingly enough, Jung’s work was instrumental in the origins of AA.]
  The usual condition of the alienated ego is suffering, the natural consequence of the individual encountering a situation for which the coping mechanisms of the ego are inadequate. Such a situation brings enormous dissonance and disillusionment with it—anguish, disorientation, suffering, and depression--sometimes accompanied by physical illness.  Common expressions for this experience are “midlife crisis” and “nervous breakdown.” There are myriad symptoms that accompany this condition. Common responses are prescription drugs, alcohol, busyness, exercise, shopping, etc; all serving the purpose of distraction, repression, and reduced suffering.
If the individual has a religious orientation with beliefs, dogma, and images sufficient to connect the ego with the deeper strata of human existence, that is, with the healing balm of unconscious processes, all will eventually go well.  Through scriptural stories, ritual, sacramental acts, and community, he/she will receive the blessings humankind has long relied upon religion to facilitate and will weather the crisis. The individual is graced.  Blessings and grace are old-fashioned words that fit well a certain psychological state that is experienced as the end of alienation.
However, if the individual has a remote connection with religion or none at all, the window to the healing effects of the unconscious is not only closed, it cannot even be imagined.  Blessings and grace are foreign concepts. For these people Jung’s approach to psychology can be life saving.  
Jung discovered that there are very important “nuclear processes” in the unconscious—actual images of the goal (the goal being the union of the ego with these unconscious processes), which can appear in dreams or fantasies.  These images appear when there is a certain condition of ego need, a sort of hunger.  Of course, the ego seeks familiar and favorite dishes, unable to imagine some outlandish food unknown to it.  What the individual experiences is a longing but a longing for which there is no object.  Nothing satisfies.  An old Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is?”, well describes this experience.
Jung writes about this occurrence:  "The goal which beckons to this psychic need, the image which promises to heal, to make whole, is at first strange beyond all measure to the conscious mind, so that it can find entry only with the very greatest difficulty."  Entry and servings of “outlandish food,” come through the numinous.  The ego is confronted with numinous experience that is awe-inspiring and naturally demanding of attention.
Addressing the key role of religion to provide healing, Jung goes on: 
"Of course it is quite different for people who live in a time and environment when such images of the goal have dogmatic validity.  These images are then eo ipso held up to consciousness, and the unconscious is thus shown its own secret reflection, in which it recognizes itself and so joins forces with the conscious (ego) mind."
  Jung is speaking here of the symbol systems, imagery, mythology, etc., that are effective as bridges between the ego and the unconscious.  That is why the Catholic Mass, Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, sacred rituals of world religions, Hasidic story, parables, astrology, etc., work so effectively for so many people.  These methodologies allow the unconscious, in "its own secret reflection" to be recognized by the individual ego so that the two can be joined in a unity.  Jung called that unity "individuation."  
In the numinous experience, the ego encounters a reality incomprehensible to it, a power far greater than itself.  The relativizing effect on the ego can also release the individual from impossible responsibilities and overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Humankind throughout history has always left certain life tasks to the gods.  Where there are no gods, the individual feels compelled to fill the role, and a stressful role it is.  
Jungian Psychology, then, is uniquely suited for those people who cannot find a comfortable home in any religious tradition.  People who study Jung’s ideas, who gather to hear presentations on various facets of his work, or who enter deeply into Jungian psychoanalysis have discovered the psychological path to healing of the personality.  The meandering path of individuation, the cooperative dance of ego individuality and unconscious processes, is enormously enriching.  In this dance the healing effects so many of us seek today are revealed and actualized. 

Jung in the Heartland Conference - Healing Through the Numinous



The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis held its third major Heartland Conference September 5-8, 2013, at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL.  The conference was a huge success.   Jean Bolen, Monika Wikman, and Laurence Hillman, speakers at the event, presented variations on the topic of healing--physical, emotional, and psychological healing.  Leah Friedman opened the conference on Thursday evening with a ritual during which each attendee introduced him/herself.  Dr. Friedman also closed the ritual at noon on Sunday.  Additionally, the three winning entries in the writing contest on the same theme, healing through the numinous, read their essays during the Authors' Evening on Saturday.  The Society has published a book of the best contest entries which is available for order on the Society website, www.cgjungstl.org

The major presentations were videotaped.  Both video and audio of the presentations will be available for purchase soon.  Go to www.cgjungstl.org for more information.

Planning is underway for the next writing contest to be held in 2014 and for the next conference scheduled for the Fall of 2015.  Information will be available on the website soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND CONFERENCE - Healing through the Numinous


I want to alert you again to the upcoming (September 5-8, 2013) third “Jung in the Heartland” Conference, offered by the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.  Those of you who attended either of the first two (2009 and 2011) know what a wonderful experience each one was.  The 2013 conference builds on the huge successes of the first two.  The 2013 conference theme is "Healing through the Numinous."  It will be held at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL, near the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area.

Presenters will be Jean Shinoda Bolen, Monica Wikman, and Laurence Hillman.  Details and registration information are on the Society’s website, www.cgjungstl.org   A special feature of the conference will be the winners of the 2012 writing contest on the same theme presenting their essays

We expect the Conference to be sold out.  The event is underwritten by Society donors, so the cost of attending is extremely reasonable.  If you plan to attend, please register early.

The conference brochures (cover shown below) will be mailed next week.  The Jung quote is one of my favorites, and contains a message of importance for all therapeutic approaches, indeed for all relationships.  [The link named in the brochure is www.cgjungstl.org]

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Healing through the Numinous," JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND Conference - September 5-8, 2013


I want to alert you to the upcoming (September 5-8, 2013) third “Jung in the Heartland” Conference, offered by the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.  Those of you who attended either of the first two (2009 and 2011) know what a wonderful experience each one was.  The 2013 conference builds on the huge successes of the first two.  The 2013 conference theme is "Healing through the Numinous."  It will be held at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL, near the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area.

Presenters will be Jean Shinoda Bolen, Monica Wikman, and Laurence Hillman.  Details and registration information are on the Society’s website, www.cgjungstl.org   A special feature of the conference will be the winners of the 2012 writing contest on the same theme presenting their essays

We expect the Conference to be sold out.  The event is underwritten by Society donors, so the cost of attending is extremely reasonable.  If you plan to attend, please register early.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

VIDEO RECORDINGS

The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has a number of video recordings of presentations by Jungian Analysts available for sale.  The recordings, available either by streaming from the internet or on DVD, are of outstanding quality.  The Society has sponsored major presentations by Robert Bosnak, Lionel Corbett, Laurence Hillman, James Hollis, Ken James, Leah Friedman, and myself on various facets of Jungian Psychology.  To see trailers of the videos or to purchase, go to www.cgjungstl.org and click on the audio/video recordings tab.

James Hollis presented a major lecture,  "Stories Told, Stories Untold; Stories that tell us" on January 18, 2013.  That recording will soon be available on the website.

[Disclosure:  I serve as analyst advisor to the Board of the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.]

Monday, January 07, 2013

OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY JUNG'S WRITINGS ON THE TOPIC OF DREAMS


Reading Jung -- Two options: Local (St. Louis)  & Online
Presented by Rose F. Holt. M.A., Jungian Analyst

Reading: C. G. Jung, Dreams [A compilation of writings from Jung’s COLLECTED WORKS.] Bollingen Press, 2010. Available in paperback on amazon.com

This study group is oriented to those seeking a better understanding of the role of dreams in personality development, in their service as mirror for ego consciousness, and in the unfolding process of individuation.

 [For people interested in the group but feel they lack a familiarity with basic Jungian theory, we recommend reviewing two videos: Rose Holt: “An Overview of Jungian Psychology & its Value for Today,” and Ken James: “Complexes, Archetypes & the Transcendent Function.” Both are available through the Society’s website at www.cgjungstl.org or by calling (314) 533-6809]

For those interested in this study group but find the local meeting time or place inconvenient, this same course is also offered online.

Local Study Group [14 CEUs available] - 7 Sundays; 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. February 3, 10, 17 / March 3, 10, 17, 24
Jung Society Friends: $110 / Others: $130 (14 CEUs)
Class limit of 12 at First Congregational Church UCC
6501 Wydown, Clayton, MO 63105
This group meets in a seminar format for seven sessions.

Online Study Group [14 CEUs available] - 7 Mondays; 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. February 4, 11, 18 / March 4, 11, 18, 25
Jung Society Friends :  $105 / Others: $125 (14 CEUs)
Class limit of 10. We will meet in seven (7) web-hosted seminars for real-time interaction between the presenter and participants. [For our live video conferences, participants will need a computer, a webcam, and a fast internet connection.]]

 Rose Holt is a Jungian analyst in private practice in St. Louis. She serves as advisory analyst to the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis and is on the faculty of the Chicago Analyst Training Program. She has taught numerous courses and has authored a number of essays on topics in Jungian Psychology.

Register/pay online or by mail using our printable Registration Form available on the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis website at www.cgjungstl.org

For additional information, please e-mail Rose Holt at www.rosefholt@gmail.com or call her at (314) 726-2032.



Tuesday, December 04, 2012

PRESENTATIONS ON JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY AVAILABLE ON VIDEO



The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has a number of fine presentations on topics in Jungian Psychology available for purchase either for streaming from the internet or in dvd format at www.cgjungstl.org.

To see trailers of the presentations, click the link(s) below:


Ken James: http://youtu.be/xpZc4f-uE64
Rose Holt:  http://youtu.be/pJX-5YBRFEY
Leah Friedman:  http://youtu.be/5ci6bUP6Uf0
Jonathan Young:  http://youtu.be/6X9lvuYzHWY
Lionel Corbett1: http://youtu.be/A7PeigBU97M
Lionel Corbett2: http://youtu.be/d_a3MJcKNcg
Richard Bosnak: http://youtu.be/ahpDkg4kgm8
Laurence Hillman: http://youtu.be/pfI4uVDlzh8
Portals conference trailer: http://youtu.be/wazsTE16zXc

For additional information or to purchase, go to www.cgjungstl.org

Friday, November 30, 2012


The Chicago Jung Institue is offering a program on December 7 that might be of interest to many since it deals with a very sensitive area in psychotherapy.  Here are the details:


THE LOVE CURE:
THERAPY AND THE EROTIC RELATIONSHIP with
John Ryan Haule, Ph.D.
Friday, December 7th, 2012 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
It has become "politically correct" to view every manifestation of erotic feelings in therapy as "forbidden" and "inappropriate." In my experience, whenever therapy "works" it has a powerful erotic component. Instead of running away from erotic feelings in therapy, we have to learn to understand them. In their oneness, therapist and patient become powerfully meaningful for one another. By means of their distance, the therapist is able to articulate and value the deep identity of the patient. It is this recognition and "mirroring" which affects the cure.

LOCATION
Loyola University Water Tower Campus Terry Student Center, 26 E. Pearson Room 303/304

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DISCUSSION FEE
$70 3 CE credits $35 for students
For all registrations visit www.jungchicago.org
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Learning Objectives:
To appreciate the problems and opportunities Eros brings to the therapeutic encounter.
To appreciate the archetypaland not merely personalnature of this dynamic.
To appreciate the transformation whereby anima and animus are converted from “mask” to “lens.” To grasp the nature of differentiating our archetypal response to another.

Suggested Reading:
J. R. Haule, The Love Cure J. R. Haule, Divine Madness
John Ryan Haule has a Ph.D. in religious studies (Temple, 1973) and a diploma from the Jung Institute-Zurich (1980). He is the author of numerous articles and eight book, including Divine Madness (1990, on romantic love), The Love Cure (1996, on eros in therapy), and two volumes on Tantra (2012). For an extensive overview of his interests and writings, check out his website at www.jrhaule.net.

This course has been designed to provide continuing education credits at the intermediate level for psychologists and mental health professionals with graduate degrees.

The C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists and by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation to provide continuing education (CE) credit for social workers, professional counselors and marriage and family therapists. The Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.
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53 W. Jackson, Suite 438, Chicago, IL 60604 Ph: 312.701.0400 Fax: 312.701.0403 

Here is a short video of Boris Matthews, Ph.D., discussing this program:







Sunday, September 09, 2012

JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY TODAY



The C .G. Jung Society of St. Louis has quite a fine collection of audio and video recordings of its excellent programs.  For detailed information or to order, visit www.cgjungstl.org

The Society is also sponsoring a writing contest on the topic of "Healing through the Numinous."  For information or to enter, visit www.cgjungstl.org.  Winners of the 2010 contest have been published in a book that is available for sale on the website.

Healing through the Numinous is the theme for the third major Jung in the Heartland Conference to be held in September, 2013, in Belleville, IL, near St. Louis, MO.  Presenters at the conference will include Jean Shinoda Bolen, Laurence Hillman, and Monika Wikman.  Detailed information is available on the website.  The Society expects the conference to be sold out, so I urge those interested to make their reservations early.

Monday, April 23, 2012

THE INNER LIFE OF FAIRY TALES




On Friday, April 20, 2012, Jonathan Young presented a lecture, "The Inner Life of Fairy Tales," in St. Louis.  He mesmerized a large audience with his telling of "The Ugly Duckling," complete with archetypal amplifications, psychological explanations, and deep understanding of the eternal struggles of the individual--all from the point of view of the duckling.

Dr. Young long assisted Joseph Campbell and went on to set up the Campbell archives at Pacifica University, and chaired the Mythological Studies Department there.  I have seen many, many hours of Campbell presentations and interviews on video.  Dr. Young is a worthy student and in many ways has surpassed his master.  For more information, visit www.folkstory.com.

The C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis will soon have the video of Dr. Young's lecture available on DVD or streaming from the internet.  The lecture is extremely informative and entertaining.  Details available at www.cgjungstl.org  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WRITING CONTEST



The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis is sponsoring its second writing contest.  The contest theme is "Healing through the Numinous." First prize is $1000; second prize $500; third prize $250.  Winners will be invited to read their entries at the 2013 Jung in the Heartland Conference which will build on the same theme.  For more information visit www.cgjungstl.org   Winning entries from the 2010 writing contest were published in a book which is available now from the Society and will be soon from amazon.com

Friday, March 23, 2012

ELIZABETH: LEARNING TO DRESS MYSELF FROM THE INSIDE OUT



Elizabeth:  Learning to Dress Myself from the Inside Out by Mary Elizabeth Moloney has just been published.  When my copy arrived from Amazon.com, I could not put it down.  The book is autobiographical, recounting the life of a woman who has struggled to deal with a powerful mother-complex.  Ms. Moloney wrote the book over the last ten years while deeply engaged in a long-term Jungian analysis (not with me).  It is one of the most honest and compelling stories I have ever read.  The author captures the inner struggle of someone caught in the terrible bind of needing her mother's love but never being able to attain it.  Her life became a recapitulation of that tragedy, a long series of seeking to please others while ignoring her own needs.

Ms. Moloney uses the metaphor of clothing as a structure in the narrative.  As a symbol for the persona, her adaptation to the outer world, the metaphor captures her journey from being dressed by mother, by requirements of the various private schools she attended, by the Catholic order of nuns she joined, by the requirements of a trousseau when she married, and eventually by the requirements of her own personhood.

There are many case histories in Jungian Psychology written by analysts.  I have long wanted to read one written by an analysand.  Elizabeth is, in addition to being autobiographical, a deeply moving account of the process of analysis.

Monday, March 05, 2012

JUNG ON SENSITIVITY


In his TWO ESSAYS ON ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY, Paragraph 85, Jung talks about
personality typology.  He makes an interesting claim:  "Sensitiveness
is a sure sign of the presence of inferiority."  He is not speaking
here of emotional sensitivity or sensitivity to oneself, which can be
helpful qualities.  I believe he means the kind of reactive
maladaptation we can exhibit when we meet something that requires a
response from our least developed function (e.g., for the intuitive,
sensation; for the thinker, feeling).

Clearly, the more our four functions of adaptation to the external
world (thinking, feeling, intuition, sensation) are developed, the
more able we are to cope without becoming unduly exercised.  It
follows, then, that in those situations where we find ourselves overly
sensitive or taken over by some unconscious force that "attacks, it
fascinates and so spins us about that we are no longer masters of
ourselves and can no longer rightly distinguish between ourselves and
others," in those situations, we have the most to learn about
ourselves.  In other words, negative, unpleasant experiences can
provide profound learning experiences for us.

Reminds me of the conversation between a master and disciple:

Disciple:  How do I become wise like you?
Master:  Exercise good judgement?
Disciple:  That is no help.  How do I develop good judgement?
Master:  Good experience.
Disciple:  That is no help.  How do I have good experience?
Master:  Bad judgement.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

READING JUNG STUDY GROUP - ONLINE



In March, 2012, the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis will begin a six-week course, an online Jung Readings Study Group which I will host.  Participants will read and discuss Jung's Volume VII, Two Essays, in which he summaries well his approach to psychology and to psychotherapy.  Our study group will be in a seminar format with opportunity for discussion both in live online meetings and in an ongoing discussion group.  For additional information or to register, please visit the Society's website, www.cgjungstl.org or e-mail me, Rose F. Holt at roseholt@gmail.com.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

NEWS FROM THE ST. LOUIS JUNG SOCIETY



For detailed information, please visit the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis website at www.cgjungstl.org

The St. Louis Jung Society is making available material from the November, 2011, JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND Conference.  Presentations by Laurence Hillman, Robert Bosnak, and Lionel Corbett will be available for DVD purchase or for streaming from the internet soon.

I attended all the conference presentations and have reviewed the soon-to-be-released videos.  I can tell you they are excellent.  They capture some of the latest and finest work of Jungian Analysts who are furthering the work of C.G Jung.  Of particular interest is Bosnak's approach to working with dreams to investigate ways psychic states affect physical states, with healing of the body as the goal of the work.  Bluff City Productions did a fine job in capturing and editing the presentation material so that viewing and reviewing the videos is deeply edifying.

The Society website also details the upcoming programs and study groups it is offering.  I will be teaching two "Jung Readings" Study Groups, one that will meet in my office and a second one online (requiring a computer, webcam, fast internet connection, and phoning in to a common number) for people who live some distance away or prefer to participate from their own homes.  Both groups will read and discuss Jung's work, TWO ESSAYS, Volume 7 of his COLLECTED WORKS.  The book is readily available in hardback or paperback from amazon.com.  These two study groups are designed for people who wish to study Jung's ideas and theories for their own personal growth as well as for clinicians who seek to incorporate Jung's ideas and theories into their practice of psychotherapy.  The study group format will be a seminar in which participants will engage in unpacking and discussing Jung's TWO ESSAYS.

Online learning can be daunting.  If you have an interest and would like to know more about either the study group or the technical aspects of attending online, please contact me by e-mail (roseholt@aol.com) or by phone (314 726-2032).  I have taught a number of classes online.  Participants find it a good alternative when physical presence in a class in difficult or impossible. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

JONATHAN YOUNG IN ST. LOUIS APRIL 20-21, 2012





Jonathan Young will present on APRIL 20-21, 2012, in St. Louis:


Lecture: The Inner Life of Fairy Tales - The Ugly Duckling
Friday, April 20, 2012, 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (2 Continuing Education Units)

Location: First Congrational Church UCC, 6401 Wyden, Clayton Missouri 63105

Fee: Friends - $15; Others $20; Full-time Students - $10

Workshop Through the Dark Forest - to Find Strength in Stories
Saturday, April 21, 2012 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (5 Continuing Education Units)
Location: First Congrational Church UCC, 6401 Wyden, Clayton Missouri 63105

Fee: Friends - $15; Others $20; Full-time Students - $10

Website: C.G.Jung Society of St. Louis  [For additional information or to register]
Phone: (314) 533-6809 (voicemail; we will return your call as needed)
Email: cgjungstl @ sbcglobal.org



Jonathan Young, PhD is a psychologist who assisted mythologist Joseph Campbell for several years at seminars -- and was the Founding Curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives and Library. As a professor, Dr. Young created and chaired the Mythological Studies Department at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. His recent book is SAGA - Best New Writings on Mythology, volume 2.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

DREAMS, DREAM INCUBATION, AND THE SANTA BARBARA HEALING SANCTUARY



Robert Bosnak, a renowned Jungian Analyst, presented at the Jung in the Heartland Conference during the second week of November, 2011.  Dr. Bosnak, a Zurich-trained analyst, has developed a unique way of working with dreams, a process partially based on ways the Greeks utilized dreams in their practice of medicine.  His techniques involve helping the patient make connection with the somatic impact of dream images and feelings, a connection he believes can have a profound healing effect both for psychic and bodily ailments.  Over the four days of the conference, Dr. Bosnak demonstrated his approach to dreams with different attendees.  One of the demonstrations was with a woman suffering from necrosis of her knee tissue.  In prior sessions long-distance over Skype, Dr. Bosnak had worked with the woman in a process of "dream incubation" which involved focussing on dreams possibly related to her health issue in an attempt to use her dreams as an approach to healing.

My one concern about the rather elaborate techniques Dr. Bosnak uses is that he must give the patient detailed, specific direction in the working of the dream.  There is a power differential already present in any analyst-patient relations, and Dr. Bosnak's approach seems to heighten that differential.  However, my concern did not seem shared by any of the individuals Dr. Bosnak worked with.

Dr. Bosnak's presentations will be available by streaming over the internet or on DVD's from the St. Louis Jung Society soon.  For more information, go to www.cgjungstl.org.

One of the more powerful and educational of his presentations involved a demonstration of "entrainment," the way analyst and patient can become aligned in a felt way in the shared energy field.  It is in this shared field that powerful transference and countertransference dynamics have a palpable presence.  It is out of this kind of "field effect" that healing of the psyche and of the body can occur.

Dr. Bosnak has recently joined the Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary where his approach to dream incubation along with other alternative approaches to health and wellness are practiced.  For further information about the Sanctuary, go to:  http://www.sbhsanctuary.com/about.html

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

READINGS IN JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY



A friend of mine enrolled in a graduate program in psychology told me that the textbook for the personality theories class dedicated one page to Jungian Psychology.  Although probably the most comprehensive theorists in his field, Jung gets little attention in academic circles because he is not adequately "scientific."  Because my friend is primarily interested in Jung's theory and chose it as a topic for a major paper, she asked me for a list of resource material.  I am posting the bibliography here for those interested:





BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adams, Michael Vannoy. The Mythological Unconscious, NY: 2001 

Bair, Deirdre. Jung: A Biography, Little, Brown, and Company, NY:
2003


deLazlo, Violet (Ed.). The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung, Bollingen, Princeton: 1990

Douglas, Claire. The Woman in the Mirror, NY: Sigo Press, 1990

Jung, C.G. Dreams, Princeton University Press, Princeton: 1974



Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Vintage, NY: 1963


Miles, Jack. Christ, A Crisis in the Life of God, Knopf, NY: 2001

Miles, Jack. God: A Biography, Random House, NY: 1995


Singer, June. Boundaries of the Soul, Doubleday, Garden City, NY: 1972

Stein, Murray. Jung’s Map of the Soul, Open Court, Chicago: 1998

Stein, Murray. Jung's Treatment of Christianity, Chiron, Wilmette, IL: 1985

Whitmont, Edward C. The Symbolic Quest, Princeton University Press, Princeton: 1969 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"A DANGEROUS METHOD"


For an interesting interview with the director of "A Dangerous Method," the film about the controversial treatment of Sabina Spielrein by Jung and Freud, go to:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2011/11/dangerous-method-david-cronenberg-on-freud-jung-and-hysteria.html

Much has been written about the relationship among this trinity of the early psychoanalytic movement.  Sabina Spielrein was the first patient whom Jung treated with Freud's methods of psychoanalysis.  Hers is a compelling story--emerging from a serious mental illness to become a renowned and brilliant analyst herself.

The nature of the personal friendship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud has also received a great deal of attention over the last century.  Some say the abrupt end of the relationship and the unresolved transference-countertransference dynamics between the two men are still apparent in the gulf that separates Jung's Analytic Psychology and the (more or less) Freudian Psychoanalysis practiced today.

I am looking forward to seeing this film and will post some thoughts about it after I do.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

CONFERENCE - JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND



The C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis held its second Jung in the Heartland Conference, November 9-13, 2011, at Toddhall in Columbia, IL.  Presenters included Laurence Hillman, Jenny Yates, Lionel Corbett, and Robert Bosnak.  The theme of this conference was Portals to the Sacred II.

Last year the Jung Society sponsored a writing contest.  Winning entries were published in a book, Portals to the Sacred from a Jungian Perspective, edited by Christy Beckman.  The book was available at the conference where winners of the top three essays read their entries at a "Authors' Reception."  The book is available for purchase at www.cgjungstl.org.

As in 2009, this major midwest conference was well attended.   Having all four presenters and several of the writing contestants present for all presentations, meals, and social events at the Toddhall Retreat Center made for a fine spirit.

Some eight hours of the conference presentations were videotaped and will be available on the Society's website (www.cgjungstl.org) in the near future.


Monday, November 07, 2011

PORTALS TO THE SACRED II


You are invited to: A Gala Evening at Toddhall!
 
A Gala Evening at Toddhall
Jung in the Heartland: Portals to the Sacred II
Friday, November 11, 7-10 pm


This promises to be a fun, full evening, and it's
just a half hour drive from St. Louis!
 
Come for:
- The release of the first C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis publication:
Portals to the Sacred from a Jungian Perspective.
- The Writing contest winners reading their works.
- A world premiere performance of:
 
Gates In and Out: a Play of Transformation

 
Also:
- Book signing.
- Authors' wine and cheese reception.

The cost is just $15 for Friends and $20 for others.
Fulltime students are half price ($10).
Register through PayPal or pay at the door.
 
 
Register Online! 
If you don't register online but plan on attending, let us know you're coming!
Email cgjungstl@sbcglobal.net with a note stating you'll be attending.

For a map to Toddhall as well as driving directions,
please click here.
 
The C.G. Jung Society of Saint Louis

P.O. Box 11724
St. Louis, Missouri 63105
314-533-6809

Saturday, October 15, 2011

STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS




STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

The question for this panel (of four St. Louis area Jungian Analysts) discussion, “What is rippling your waters?” is a good one for any of us to reflect on. It has surely provided a lot of reflection for me. The subject that has most gripped me in recent weeks has to do with states of consciousness. It is an extremely broad subject but one that lends itself to some brief discussion.

Of compelling interest to anyone is: what is the state of consciousness that I find myself in and why is it important to know that state? Examining one’s own consciousness is a questionable endeavor for we are apt to find what we want to find rather than what is more objectively true.

It seems to be the case that each of us has a conscience that is a state sometimes discernibly different from our usual mode of being within ourselves. Even the word ‘conscience’ in its derivation (con = with and scio = to know) implies a knowing with something other. The effect of conscience is that we feel a dissonance, often in the body, when our ego state or ego action strays too far from this implied other. This often vague dissonance can be a most helpful guide in any examination of consciousness

How does one examine one’s own consciousness, especially while necessarily and hopelessly stuck inside it? I think the answer to this question is one of the most important that Jungian Psychology attempts to provide. Jung thought that by taking a very long view, by studying what others in different epochs had to say about certain issues, one could develop an Archimedean point of view. By “Archimedean,” Jung meant in a psychological way what Archimedes expressed for physical reality: Give me a fulcrum sufficiently removed, and I can apply force that can move the earth.

When Jung studies and comments on works from Eastern philosophy, world mythologies, and from ancient alchemical texts, he is giving us an Archimedean point of view for modern consciousness. Even though modern individual experiences are short-lived and limited; images from the unconscious fleeting and illusory; and states of consciousness sporadic and discontinuous, Jung demonstrated that an aggregate view—gained from many texts from many eras—shows an unfolding process in which all humankind is involved.

This process is not random. It consists of regularly occurring images, motifs, and patterns that Jung called archetypal (from arche = ancient and typos = imprint). Our experiences of archetypes go primarily unnoticed even though archetypes are universal and everyday. In subtle but powerful ways they determine our patterns of behavior. For example, most of us have lived through one such pattern, having experienced the sadness, loss, and sterility of a Demeter state of consciousness when Persephone (that youthful, forward-looking younger daughter state) is snatched away.

Or consider the pattern of Aphrodite, Hephaestus, and Aires. When Aphrodite and Aries have an illicit affair, Aphrodite’s husband Hephaestus makes a net and entraps them, exposing the affair. That ancient myth describes the universal pattern of a consciousness that unwittingly sets up a situation to make sure his/her questionable behavior is uncovered.

Our modern consciousness, unmoored from the underlying and continuous unconscious, can get stuck in one state or can transition unnoticed from state to state. Today we label someone bipolar when he/she swings from Demeter to Persephone states, often with dire consequences. Knowing the pattern we are living, that is to say making the pattern conscious, may lead us to make different choices. And bringing an underlying unconscious archetypal pattern into consciousness has a healing effect. It is as if we need story, especially our own story, to connect us with universal human experiences and emotions—this universal archetypal bedrock--and to end our modern states of alienation from ourselves and others.

Why this need, we can’t be certain, but we do know that without story an individual grows ill. Dreams, in some fashion, connect us with our ‘story.’ When not allowed to dream, an individual will become psychotic in a remarkably short time.

Dreams are a fine way for examining our conscious state. When we remember a dream, it is as if the Dream Giver (perhaps the Self in Jungian thought) has filmed a drama from a point of view removed, then says, “Here, take a look at yourself and your relationships with psychic figures and events from my perspective.” Any of you who have examined dreams no doubt have seen archetypal figures and motifs in them, perhaps Mother, Father, Home, the Journey, Conflict, the Child, the Automobile, Moon, Sun, Stars, Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Sacrifice, the Scapegoat, to name a few.

Why all this interest in states of consciousness? I think with some degree of self knowledge, one can learn to choose one’s state without identifying with it. When identified with a state, one is trapped, things are as they appear. As one ancient put it: We must “learn whence is sorrow and joy, and love and hate, and waking though one would not, and sleeping though one would not, and getting angry though one would not, and falling in love though one would not. And if thou shouldst closely investigate these things, thou wilt find God in thyself . . .” [Vol. 11, Para. 400]

Someone I know personally described disidentification this way: “When you look at your dreams, it’s amazing the information you get that’s different from your perception, information that gives you a different way of walking through life. You don’t have to go through it the same old way any more. I used to go strictly with my feelings that were raging around, would get stuck in them. Now I find that if I can go over them, process them, those feelings don’t hang around for days. I am unstuck then.”

Ultimately, there is a creative state of consciousness much to be desired. The best attempt I’ve seen to explain this creative state is from Toni Morrison:

“I’ve said I wrote The Bluest Eye after a period of depression, but the words ‘lonely, depressed, melancholy’ don’t really mean the obvious. They simply represent a different state. It’s an unbusy state, when I am more aware of myself than of others. The best words for making that state clear to other people are those words. It’s not necessarily an unhappy feeling; it’s just a different one. I think now I know better what that state is. Sometimes when I’m in mourning, for example, after my father died, there’s a period when I’m not fighting day-to-day battles . . . . When I’m in this state, I can hear things. . . . . It has happened other times . . . At that time I had to be put into it. Now I know how to bring it about without going through the actual event.” [Black Women Writers at Work, New York: Continuum, 1984, edited by Claudia Tate, p. 189-9]

You might ask a most practical and fundamental question: how do we self-examine, how do we discover precisely what our state of mind is? Here are some ways: (1) Paying attention to dreams and dream images, a topic I touched on earlier; (2) observing synchronicities that occur in our life; (3) watching for repeating patterns in our own behavior; (4) being mindful of the unintentional effects we have on others and on events; (5) mapping our own psyche for the complexes (which act like mine fields) that exist in our unconsciousness and that explode or erupt occasionally; (6) being more or less aware of the triggers that set off our complexes; (7) paying attention to our emotional state and its many variations and swings; (8) entertaining fantasies that can provide information to our ego state; (9) observing which characters we resonate with in literature and film; (10) noticing who gets under our skin and asking why; and (11) above all, having an awareness that ego consciousness is embedded in something larger than itself that exerts pressures, that influences attitudes and behaviors, and that has real affects.

In our shared interest in Jungian Psychology, we are making an additional effort. By relating to Jung’s ideas and the images he explores, by developing a relationship with them, we are in effect establishing a better relationship with the Unconscious. Or we are at least studying the map Jung provides for our own journey. The psyche, or the Unconscious, consists of images and patterns that picture vital activities which are full of meaning and purpose. When we do make the kinds of efforts I have described, it is as if a connection gets made from one’s small personal existence and experience to some underlying source of all existence and experience, and the individual has an ‘ah-ha’ realization that is satisfying and helpful. The ‘ah-ha’ is of the nature of the experience one gets when a mathematical proof “clicks”. There is a feeling of completeness and unshakeable certitude. It would seem to be case, the Unconscious also gets something of an ‘ah-ha’ when connections between consciousness and the Unconscious occur.

The word psyche is a Sanscrit word that also means “butterfly” so that in the word itself is an understanding of the experience of transformation or metamorphosis. If the ego is an epiphenomenonon of the psyche, that is to say, the ego is formed on the substratum of the archetypal bedrock and takes on its patterning, then the ego, too, will be subject to psychic transformations. However, without an awareness of the underlying nature of the psyche and its pattern of regular, somewhat predictable transformations, the ego will simply be dragged through the transformations and may experience primarily the suffering. Or the ego may simply try to numb itself to all experience, in which case the baby has definitely been thrown out with the bath water. With memory, knowledge, imagination, patience, and perseverance, an individual can better weather the suffering and storms that are part and parcel of transformation.